Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Gwyneth Paltrow Celebrates Her 44th Birthday with a Makeup-Free Selfie
- Read the Cover Story: Brad & Angelina Split After 12 Years: It's Over
- Barack Obama Leads Tributes as Former Israeli President Shimon Peres Dies at 93
- Halle Berry Stuns in Pink and Black David Koma Bodycon Dress at Revlon Luncheon
- Protesters Gather as Man Is Shot and Wounded by San Diego Police: Report
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- February 18, 2008
- Vol. 69
- No. 6
She Fixes and Donates Old Computers
Founder, NextStep Recycling, Eugene, Ore.
LOW EXPECTATIONS: Growing up poor in Philadelphia, Kerwood spoke with a stutter and got Ds in school. Teachers told her she was developmentally disabled but helped little. "I was convinced I was stupid," she says.
A FRESH START: Moving to Oregon in her 20s, she saw a therapist who diagnosed her with high-functioning autism. In 1996, she enrolled at the University of Oregon, bought a used desktop computer—and discovered she had a knack for fixing it. Soon, she was spending hours repairing junked machines; she gave one to a 7-year-old girl she was counseling as part of her social work degree. Graduating in 1999—magna cum laude—Kerwood had found her calling.
NEXT STEPS: Working out of a garage with a few volunteers, Kerwood built her computer-repair charity into NextStep Recycling (www.nextsteprecycling.org). Since 2004, it has saved 750 tons of solid waste and donated 13,000 computers to schools, community centers and people who participate in a volunteer program. Taylor Hutchinson, 18, of Springfield, Ore., got his first desktop last summer. He uses it to research school assignments and, of course, play music. "This," he says, "is a big deal to me."
Know a hero? Send suggestions to HEROESAMONGUS@PEOPLEMAG.COM
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!